Growing Herbs in Calgary
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Janice Lambert
Posted on: August 31, 1998

I would like to begin growing some herbs. However, I live in Calgary, Alberta, where the winters are less than warm. I also have a bedroom downstairs. I have only 1 window, and there is a small shrub or bush in front of it, however it does let in some sunlight. I was wondering what herbs would grow best in these dark conditions. I was also wondering if I would need to purchase a fluorescent light or something of the sort to help my plants grow. I am extremely interested in growing nearly any herbs that I can.

During the winter you will have a much more satisfying windowsill herb garden if you install a two tube fluorescent fixture over your poorly lit window. Your summers however have long days and are usually hot and sunny-ideal conditions for many culinary herbs. If you summer them outdoors, you will have the best of both worlds.

A few herbs that will tolerate shade are: gotu kola, ground ivy, lemon balm, mints, lovage, parsley, sweet woodruff, madder and Vietnamese coriander.

You might wish to consult the wonderful book "Encyclopedia of Herbs & their Uses" by Deni Bown (available from Richters under catalogue #B2730). It gives light, soil, zone tolerance, etc for an incredible number of herbs and would make you an expert in no time!

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